Gerard Whateley has delivered his honest assessment of where the Western Bulldogs are at, saying they’ve got “one of the great midfields” but “nothing else”.
The Dogs were bundled out of the finals in week one for the second consecutive season, going down to St Kilda by three points at the Gabba on Saturday.
While the Dogs kicked four goals to one in the final term to close within touching distance of victory, Whateley believes the momentum shift was more to do with the opposition going into their shell rather them changing anything tactically.
“The last quarter, I think, is a con,” he said on SEN’s Whateley.
“St Kilda invited them back into the game and momentum was so heavily against, they went ultra conservative which is a crazy tactic but that’s what inexperienced finals teams will do.
“If you judge the Bulldogs on the last quarter, you fall for the same thing that people keep falling for (with the Bulldogs). They are way more than two pieces short.
“I’m going to borrow a phrase from someone I talk to, I think Luke Beveridge does a phenomenal job with what he’s got but I think he’s building a 1000-piece jigsaw (puzzle) with 920 pieces and convincing people that he’s got it under control because he’s such a good tactical and game day coach.
“The fact that they can’t vaguely challenge for the top four and now they can’t win elimination finals, I actually think that tells you everything you need to know and I reckon they’re a long way from it.
“They’re all midfield, I think they’ve got one of the great midfields and nothing else. Beveridge does all his work moving players to compensate for it and the most important result is the way he used Hayden Crozier (in the elimination final).
“He’s brilliant with the way he manipulates what he doesn’t have.”